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'Pretty Little Liars' season premiere recap, 'EscApe from New York'

For The Baltimore Sun

The girls are back!

In the spirit of Season 5, with all five girls back together (Hana, Aria, Spencer, Emily and Ali) here are five big moments from last night’s season premiere.

The big split up: After Season 4's cliffhanger of an ending, we learned that Ezra has indeed survived his gunshot wound from A … but isn’t out of the woods yet. While he is rushed to the hospital, Ali notices A on top of the ambulance.

It is up to the girls to use Ali as bait to get A alone, so they can find out who “he,” “she” or the “bitch” is. Ali and Aria wander the city, making sure A isn’t up to anything outside of the hospital, while Spencer, Hana and Emily end up in the hospital lobby. A notices and sends a group-chat with the message, “Follow the leader.” But to who?

Melissa’s secret: It is obvious that Melissa is back in town for a reason. While the Hastings family is the only family shown in the episode, it is evident that with all the police activity surrounding Spencer and her friends, Mrs. Hastings wants answers, and Melissa and Mr. Hastings are holding out.

Upon her arrival, Melissa shares with her parents that there is something she has never mentioned to anyone, something that could possibly lead Spencer home. But what?

Before she has the chance to share with her parents, Officer Holbrook knocks on the Hastings family door, to warn them that Cece Drake has escaped police custody. As Melissa is about to share, her father interrupts and makes it apparent that his family has shared all the information.

After Mrs. Hastings goes to bed, Melissa tells her father the importance of this secret information. He insists that no one is to know about it, especially Mrs. Hastings.

A gang of As/Team Mona: While the girls are sure they have gotten A alone in the park, an army of A's show up, to distract the girls while the initial A escapes. As the police rush everyone out of the park, the girls are left confused, wondering how A managed to get 10 steps ahead of them.

Meanwhile, back in Rosewood, Mona and Lucas hold a secret meeting, full of familiar faces. Mona directs everyone in the room to go around and mention the name given to them by Ali as she tormented them.

Paige (yes, Emily’s ex) decides that she does not want to be involved in “Mona’s Army.” As she exits, Melissa Hastings greets her on the opposite side of the door. Mona assures her army that the bigger they are, the harder she falls. Melissa reminds them all that there isn’t much time.

Ezra’s awake: Aria makes her way back to the hospital to wait on any updates on Ezra’s condition. She overhears that his surgery has gone well, and his mother is on the first flight from Sydney to be by her son’s side.

Aria realizes that at this very moment, she is the only one there for Ezra…until Shana greets her in the hospital waiting room.  Shana tells Aria that she has been sent by Ali to watch over her. Of course, Aria has no faith or trust in anything the girl who tried to sabotage her best friend has to say, but ends up falling asleep.

When she wakes up, Shana is in the room with Ezra, Aria confronts her about not waking her up when the doctor said he could have visitors. At that moment, Ezra opens his eyes and notices Aria and Shana. All his vitals start to go down and nurses and doctors rush to be by his side. Aria notices Shana has disappeared.

When Aria enters the room again, Ezra is awake and ready to talk. In between breaths in his oxygen tank, he whispers a name in her ear. Whose?

The Fitzgerald Theatre: Spencer, Emily, Hana and Ali need somewhere to stay while in New York. Ali reminds them that she knows a place where all of them can stay for the night.

When the girls arrive at this massive theatre, Hana wants to know where Ali learned of this secret location; Ali flashes back to the first time Ezra brought her to the theatre, where she learned it belongs to him and his family.

Hana and Spencer fall asleep, while Emily notices that Ali is awake (Not realizing that she indeed has just returned from a meeting with Cece and Noel). Ali tells Emily that there are certain things that can’t be shared with the other girls.

When Hana and Spencer wake up and notice that Emily and Ali are alone, they demand answers. Ali shares that she has given her passport and money to Cece so she can escape, getting herself out of the town where she killed a cop to protect Ali.

After playing phone tag with Aria, Ali accidently picks up the phone and speaks to Holbrook. After she hangs up, she warns the girls that they have to go. In the midst of them grabbing their belongings, the house lights come on; Out walks Shana with a gun, pointed at all of the girls.

While they plead for their lives, Shana informs them that she is seeking justice for Jena. But before she can fire, Aria comes from behind the stage, knocking Shana off and killing her. Aria is able to save the day because Ezra told her Shana is the one who shot him.

As Shana lays on the floor lifeless, Spencer calls in an accident and the girls leave the theatre before anyone arrives. Relieved, all the girls are happy it is finally over.

But we all know it really isn’t — the season is just getting started.

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